Ash live at Sheffield Leadmill Review

Ash played at the Sheffield Leadmill on Tuesday 16th October, with support from Death by Unga Bunga.

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Death by Unga Bunga

Death by Unga Bunga were one of the most entertaining opening acts I had seen in a while, with non-stop energy throughout their set, while still performing great musically. Check them out if you can.

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Northern Irish rock trio Ash performed a lengthy set, but at no point did they show any signs of drifting off, with even their new album tracks pleasing the crowd.

The earliest highlight for me came in the form of a blistering rendition of ‘Kung-Fu’, and the whole set was filled with hits, reminding me just how many they’ve had over the years, with the likes of ‘Oh Yeah’, ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘Angel Interceptor’ all coming thick and fast in the first half of the set.

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This tour is in support of their latest album, ‘Islands’, and while they did play a fair number of new tracks (6), they slotted in perfectly with their greatest hits and fan favourites, especially ‘Confessions In The Pool’ and ‘Did Your Love Burn Out’.

 

Ash put on a memorable performance, and the quality of the whole set is a real testament to just how good they still are. They seemed to be enjoying themselves on stage too, which is the most important thing.

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You can check out all of Ash’s upcoming tour dates here: http://www.ash-official.com/shows/

Gallery:

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New Release Roundup: 14th September 2018

The 1975 – Sincerity is Scary: Another new single from upcoming album ‘A Brief Relationship into Online Relationships’, another completely different sound. The chillest cut from this album so far, this is a jazzy, smooth track making great use of a choir for backing vocals. A slow burner, but it really shows that the 75 are pushing the boat out and really trying new things. Good. 90%

Django Django – Swimming at Night: Taken from a new upcoming EP, this new track from the Djangos is nothing unexpected or new, but it’s never a bad thing to have another good quality, groovy, catchy Django song out there. 70%

Estrons – Body: A really great, punchy riff and another great vocal performance from Tali makes this new Estrons track really stick in your head, and makes me look forward to their upcoming album. 80%

Dizzee Rascal & Skepta – Money Right: This is good. ‘Money Right’ is a  classic grime track with two of the genre’s biggest voices on top form, and bouncing off each other effortlessly. What feud? 83%

Lana Del Rey – Mariners Apartment Complex: This sounds to me a bit like Lana doing a version of a sad Arctic Monkeys cut but also at the same time like a sad ABBA song when the harmonies come in. Surprisingly good. 92%

Sarah Close – Crazy Kind:  This new track from Sarah is a great, well produced pop track with echoes of Rae Morris, which is definitely a good thing. Her latest singles are looking very promising for a full length release. 80%

Khalid – Better: A fairly standard track from Khalid in my opinion, with his vocals sounding dull and uninspired over a normie beat, which is a shame as usually his great voice helps him to stands out from the crowd. 50%

Joji – Slow Dancing In The Dark: A dreamy, slow-jam synthy track from Joji here, with his vocals slightly eerily placed over the chill, almost lo-fi instrumental. It all comes together really well. 75%

Kiran Leonard – Unreflective Life: Taken from his upcoming album ‘Western Culture’, this new Kiran track is full of energy and it sounds massive, ringing similar to tracks by Doves and Elbow, which is no bad thing. 85%

Teleman – Family of Aliens Review

The third album from Teleman has  somehow managed to improve on their previous two releases; it being a more electronic, robotic and dance-able collection of songs while showing off more of their personalty than ever before.

When an album has a couple of very strong singles i’m always worried that the rest of the album will disappoint, and with ‘Cactus’ being an absolute banger and probably the best Teleman song to date I certainly had those fears.

They were quickly dismissed as soon as the opener, and title track ‘Family of Aliens’ began. The same brilliant Teleman as usual, but sounding even more energetic. ‘Between The Rain’ is a Paul McCartney-esque upbeat piano track, and ‘Always Dreaming’ is a slower, calm moment on the record. These two tracks show just how diverse Teleman can be while still maintaining a consistent sound.

Another album highlight for me is the very groovy ‘Twisted Heart’,with the opening synth riff sounding like a Pokemon battle theme gone wrong and it just generally being one of the catchiest tracks they’ve put out to date.

‘Somebody’s Island’ has another great melody throughout, with the song again being one of the best the band has ever put out, it being so well produced and full of emotion and personality. The album closer, ‘Starlight’, aptly sounds like a really dramatic end credits song for a movie, a fitting end to a great album.

This is Teleman’s best album to date, and one of the best albums of the year so far.

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Best Three: Cactus, Twisted Heart, Starlight

New Release Roundup 27th July 2018

 

singles-e1532694576343.pngPale Waves – Eighteen: The latest single from Pale Waves comes from their recently announced album ‘My Mind Makes Noises’, which is out 14th September. It sounds very expansive and dramatic in it’s intro and verses, sounding like it would be perfect at the start of a cheesey 80s movie, and then it bursts into yet another great pop chorus from Heather and Ciara. nice. 90%

Charli XCX – Girls Night Out: Not a fan of this new one from Charli,with the lyrics and perfomance seeming lacking in energy and the instrumental being a bit bland compared to her other recent releases like ‘No Angel’. 50%

Jungle – Heavy, California: It certainly sounds like Jungle. Nice enough though. 70%

Cherry: A more toned down, minimalist track here from Jungle, showing that when they do diversify their sound it can really pay off, with the slower, groovy backing instrumental being very nice indeed. 80%

The 1975 – Love It If We Made It: Another nice single from the 75 here, with it still very obviously sounding like them, but the interesting distorted effects on Matty’s vocals make the track that bit more interesting, and as always they have great, topical lyrics. Thank you Kanye, very cool.  85%

Blood Orange – Charcoal Baby: A pleasant track from Dev here, with really smooth production and as always, a great vocal performance. 70%

Estrons – Cameras: Taken from their upcoming debut album which is out October 5th, Cameras is bit of a slower track from the Welsh rockers, but it’s still got that punch and personality that I have come to expect from the band. 80%

 

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Ross From Friends – Family Portrait: This is the debut album from electronic producer Felix Clary Weatherall under the name Ross from Friends. It’s full of chill bangers, but none of them are quite as simple as they seem on the surface, as with each listen you notice a little bit more. Very nice. 81%

Sunset Sons – The River EP: A very solid EP from Sunset Sons here, with second track ‘Love Lights’ being the highlight for me, a perfect piece of groovy indie rock. All very nice though, with each track showing real diversity in the band’s sound. 80%

Underworld & Iggy Pop – Teatime Dub Encounters: A great EP from Underworld and Iggy here. The dance tracks provided alone are great, but Iggy provides great vocal performances that go perfectly with the backing. Surprisingly good. 83%

Tramlines 2018 Review

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2018 sees Tramlines, Sheffield’s inner-city music festival celebrate it’s 10th birthday. To celebrate the occasion, it moved to Hillsborough Park for what was advertised as ‘Sheffield’s Biggest Ever Party.’ I’d have to agree.

Friday

The one bad thing about Tramlines 2018 was that there were just too many acts I wanted to see! With the likes of The Orielles and Everything Everything playing at the same time I found myself dashing between the stages to catch a bit of everyone.

Kicking things off for me were The Big Moon.

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Playing a selection of top indie bangers from their Mercury nominated debut album alongside a brill cover of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart, The Big Moon again proved themselves to be a perfect, energetic live band.

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Pulling in a big crowd for that time of day, High Hazels delivered a very pleasant set of their slick, old-school indie.

Another quick dash from Leadmill to Main stage now for the bold Everything Everything.

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You can always rely on Everything Everything to be a brilliant live act, and during the only rainy spell of the weekend, the lads pulled it off, getting the crowd going with older hits such as ‘Regret’ alongside tracks from their last album ‘A Fever Dream’.

Next up were The Orielles.

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Another Yorkshire act, The Orielles played a very tight, energetic show full of tracks from their debut album ‘Silver Dollar Moment’ – if you ever get the chance to catch them live please do as Sid is an amazing drummer.

Friday’s headline act was Stereophonics.

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Kicking things off with their best track in recent years, ‘C’est La Vie’, the Welsh rock legends provided the perfect soundtrack for the Friday sunset, with massive hits like ‘Maybe Tomorrow ‘ and ‘Dakota’ really getting Sheff singing.

Saturday

The second day of Tramlines kicked off earlier, with both music and comedy beginning at around mid day. I saw some great, innovative comedy acts in the Leadmill tent to start my Saturday, including the amazing Foxdog Studios, who got everyone’s phones linked up for an interactive experience, and the hilarious Barbara Nice.

Music-wise, for me first up were Redfaces.

Lighting up the main stage with their fast-paced tunes like ‘Kerosene’ – the Sheffield lads proved they deserved that place on a big stage, and they owned it.

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After that, I nipped over to the Library Stage to catch Self Esteem, the solo project of Rebecca Taylor, formerly of Slow Club.

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Rebecca and her band put on a great show, with songs such as ‘Your Wife’ being a perfect Saturday afternoon soundtrack, with the weather slowly getting hotter and hotter.

Next up were Sheffield legends Reverend and the Makers, who had the rowdiest crowd of the weekend, and for good reason.

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From the get go, Jon and Co got the crowd bouncing, and I mean the entire park was shaking, with massive tunes like ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World’ and ‘Bassline’ really kicking things off, with people of all ages going for it.

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Saturday was a big indie night out, with Blossoms next up on the Main Stage.

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From their first track, ‘At Most A Kiss’, the Stockport favourites played a blinder of a set filled with crowdpleasers from their first two albums, and the irresistible ‘Charlamagne’ got the crowd nicely warmed up for Saturday’s headliner.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds were the closing act for the Tramlines 2018 Saturday.

DSCN3257.JPG While I was obviously excited for Noel, he really surpassed my expectations. He was noticeably really enjoying playing in Sheffield, and his enthusiasm quickly rubbed off on Hillsborough Park, with many a mass sing-a-long to be had. Playing a great mixture of solo and Oasis material, the elder Gallagher really shone on Saturday night.

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Sunday

Sunday for me was all about T’Other stage. Opening up the Tramlines Sunday for me were quick rising Sheff band The Seamonsters.

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Pulling a big crowd for the time of day, the Sheff six piece played a great, energetic set that proved to be the perfect start to the day.

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Next up was Nina Nesbitt.

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Playing a selection of her recent singles and older tracks as well as teasing some upcoming new tunes, Nina really impressed me with just how good she was live, witha  great vocal performance and stage prescence.

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After Nina were Gengahr.

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Beautifully playing tracks from their first two albums, including fan favourites like ‘She’s A Witch’ and recent hit ‘Carrion’, Gengahr played to a pretty much full T’Other Stage tent on the Sunday afternoon.

Following on from Gengahr were Little Comets.

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Little Comets really had Sheffield dancing with their upbeat indie rock, playing a great, tight set despite being down a member.

Next up, Pale Waves.

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Pale Waves are perhaps the buzziest band in the country at the moment, and they played a set that showed just why they have risen up so quickly, with the tent packed out to see the Manchester band play their indie pop to perfection.

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After Pale Waves, it was to the Main Stage for the last time of the weekend for De La Soul.

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One of the liveliest acts of the festival, De La Soul definitely won in terms of crowd participation, really getting the crowd involved in call-and-response games in between their legendary tracks like ‘Me Myself and I’. Another act who genuinely seemed to really enjoy playing to the Sheffield crowd.

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The final act of the weekend for me were Teleman, over on the Library Stage.

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Another of Britain’s Tightest Bands™, Teleman played a brilliant set of tracks from their first two albums, as well as tracks from their upcoming ‘Family of Aliens’ album, with ‘Song for a Seagull’ being a set highlight for me. Closing with the absolute banger that is Dusseldorf, they were the perfect end to a great weekend.


 

Tramlines 2018 was definitely Sheffield’s biggest ever party, and there was a really positive attitude throughout the park all weekend, with literally everybody having a good time. With organisation, food and entertainment that good it’s hard not to.

You could easily tell the amount of effort and love put into the event by Sarah Nulty and her team, and it paid off in a massive way. Roll on 2019.

Check out my full photo gallery from the weekend here!

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You can buy tickets for Tramlines 2019 already here. I would if I were you.